In the spring of 2009, the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board and the A&S Committee on Graduate Studies voted unanimously in support of the Board's concept for initiating and funding annual awards to A&S graduate students in recognition of outstanding undergraduate mentoring in scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching. In the spring of 2012, the the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board unanimously changed the name of the S. Laurie Sanderson Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring to honor Dean Sanderson's invaluable contribution to A&S graduate studies as Dean from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2012.
Unlike the Teaching Assistant awards that are currently offered within some departments/programs, this award recognizes mentoring in the context of undergraduate scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching. Such mentoring might include, among other examples, graduate students who mentor undergraduates in the context of the undergraduate students' senior theses, honors theses, writing projects, term papers, or research in a laboratory, field site, museum, or archive. Previous award recipients have been recognized for their vital contributions to undergraduate scholarship and research at William & Mary.
Guidelines and a Nomination form are available for undergraduate students and faculty, who are invited to nominate current graduate students. The 2017-2018 awards will be presented at the 2018 Graduate Research Symposium's awards luncheon, March 17, 2018, drawing more undergraduate students and faculty to the symposium and luncheon and increasing visibility for the important contributions of graduate students in mentoring undergraduate students in scholarship and research.
Up to two awards of $250 will be provided annually in each of the two existing graduate student award categories in A&S, (a) Humanities and Social Sciences and (b) Natural and Computational Sciences. The awards will be designated as the Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, to complement the current Awards for Excellence in Scholarship that are presented at the symposium. A larger number of awards may be offered in each category as additional funds become available.